Salary Boosts Expected, Especially for PCPs

Typically primary care physicians aren't the best paid causing many medical students to avoid the career. However, things might be turning around for PCPs, according to a survey about 2013 compensation expectations.

Typically primary care physicians aren’t the best paid causing many medical students to avoid the career. However, things might be turning around for PCPs.

According the Hay Group’s 2012 Physician Compensation Survey, group-based primary care physicians received a 5% salary increase in 2012 compared to just 3% for group-based specialists.

“As the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, primary care physicians will become more critical than ever to the viability of the healthcare system,” Jim Otto, senior principal in Hay Group’s Healthcare Practice, said in a statement. “Given the growing shortage of primary care physicians and the expected increase in demand from patients seeking care, we expect to see salary increases for primary care physicians trend upward over the coming years as employers vie for the best talent.”

Group-based physicians in general received a larger salary increase in 2012 than hospital-employed physicians. And group-based physicians should expect a larger increase again in 2013.

In 2012 there was a decrease in the prevalence of annual incentive plans for group-based physicians (89% to 80%) but it decreased among hospitals (59% to 63%).

“By incorporating metrics such as quality of care and patient satisfaction into annual incentive plans, healthcare organizations are forcing physicians to think differently about their approach to care.”

Other findings from the Hay’s Group survey include:

• Employment contracts grew in popularity for both hospital-based and physician group-practices.

• Quality and patient satisfaction dominate the incentive payout determination. More than three-quarters (77%) of organizations reported using “quality” and 66% said “patient satisfaction” was used to measure a physician’s performance.

• Malpractice insurance is provided by 88% of organizations. Of those organizations almost all (97%) provide the malpractice insurance at no cost to the physician.

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